What is the current situation with vegans in Britain?
The number of vegans in Britain has risen by more than 360 percent over the past decade, according to a new survey that shows record numbers of people are avoiding food derived from animals.
Some 542,000 people aged 15 or over – more than one percent of the population – have adopted a plant-based diet, up from 150,000 in 2006. According to the Vegan Society, the survey proves that veganism is now one of Britain’s “fastest growing lifestyle movements.”
The poll of almost 10,000 people, carried out by Ipsos MORI in for the Vegan Society and Vegan Life magazine, is the largest ever aimed at quantifying the number of vegans in Britain.
The perceived health benefits of a vegan diet are thought to be driving the trend. Advocates of plant-based eating say vegans typically have lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, a lower body mass index, and reduced risk of death from heart disease and cancer. Environmental and welfare issues are also contributing to the swelling numbers turning away from food sourced from animals.
“To have over half a million vegans in Britain is fantastic,” said Jasmijn de Boo, a chief executive officer of The Vegan Society. “More people than ever are now acting upon the health and environmental benefits of veganism, and finding out what really goes on in the meat and dairy industries and deciding they do not want to contribute to the pain and suffering of animals.”